Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has started the construction of its CAR T cell therapy production center at the Leiden Bio Science Park (LBSP). Leiden will be the biopharmaceutical company’s first cell therapy facility in Europe and the fifth in the world. BMS expects the facility to be operational at the end of 2024, bringing the manufacturing of its cell therapies closer to European patients. In addition, the new production facility is expected to create at least 500 new jobs.
Saving valuable time for patients
CAR T cell therapy is an immunotherapy in which a patient’s white blood cells are reprogrammed so that they are able to recognize and fight cancer cells. Arjen Schippers, Senior Director and Program Head at BMS Leiden, says the European facility is an important development. “The new production center is our first in Europe, which will enable us to bring the manufacturing of this innovative cell therapy closer to European patients. This may help to reduce the turnaround time, saving valuable time for patients in Europe with aggressive blood cancers.”
Innovative and personalized cancer treatment
The European facility will have the latest technology and production equipment, with capabilities for multi-product cell therapy manufacturing to provide European cancer patients with personalized medication treatments, whereby they use their own cells to fight their cancer.
The new European production center is conveniently located near Schiphol airport and to the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. “This is in line with BMS’s aim to realize a globally expanding production network for cell therapy,” Snehal Patel, vice president, Global Head of Cell Therapy Manufacturing, Bristol Myers Squibb, explains. “By continuing to expand our international network, we can serve patients better all over the world, not only with CAR T cell therapy, but eventually also with other innovative scientific therapies for cancer.”
500 extra jobs in the Leiden region
The LBSP is the largest life sciences region in the Netherlands and has an international community for innovation and collaboration, as well as an attractive top-notch talent pool.
“We are proud that BMS has chosen the LBSP as the site for constructing its European state-of-the-art CAR T production facility,” says Ida Haisma, Director Leiden Bio Science Park. “CAR T is a key technology for fighting serious diseases like cancer, and it is a perfect fit for the profile of the LBSP. The facility is a new building block in LBSP’s extensive cell therapy network and it will further reinforce the position of the Netherlands in personalized medicine.”
BMS expects the European center to be completed and operational at the end of 2024 and to have attracted talent from across Europe to fill at least 500 new positions. The first openings can be found on the BMS website.